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An Exploratory Analysis of Deprivation and Ill-Health led Poverty in Urban India: A Case Study of Delhi

Samik Chowdhury
Aasha Kapur Mehta
Suparna Das
Sourabh Ghosh
2011

Abstract

This paper examines the multi-dimensional nature of urban poverty with special emphasis on ill-health led deprivation. As a driver of poverty, ill-health reduces the income earning potential and increases expenditure on medication, thereby causing asset depletion, increasing debt and worsening poverty. The bulk of ill-health related expenditure in India is borne by households themselves and almost all of this is in the form of out-of-pocket spending. Hence this paper attempts to explore the links between urban poverty and ill-health through a case study based on evidence from150 households with a history of ailment, located in two slum clusters of Delhi. The paper explores the patterns of morbidity, health care utilisation and treatment cost within these households. It further estimates the economic burden of ill-health as measured by illness induced impoverishment, and also brings out its variation across select socio-economic and disease characteristics within the sample households. Using this evidence, it argues for explicitly raising existing poverty lines based on “norm based” expenditure required for meeting the direct and indirect costs of health shocks and their aftermath and for priority provisioning of substantial government resources for the health sector.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC India Working Paper

Keywords

India health

ISBN: 81-86641-55-6

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